After a bowl appearance and an upset win over Louisville, Kentucky fans are feeling good about football coach Mark Stoops and the future of the program.
The Wildcats are coming off a 7-6 season, but they have the potential to build on that heading into this year. They bring back both quarterbacks, Stanley Johnson and Drew Barker. Kentucky’s top recruit, Lynn Bowden, was finally cleared to join the team, and he’s impressing early on.
Besides bringing in another strong recruiting haul — the Wildcats had the No. 29 class in the country for 2017 — Stoops returns running back Benny Snell, who ran for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman last season. With Boom Williams off to the Cincinnati Bengals, Snell will have a bigger role in the Kentucky offense.
Though Kentucky basketball fans never seem satisfied, Wildcats football fans approve of the job Stoops is doing. In the SEC Country approval rating poll last month, Stoops finished with a rating of 87.3. That was tops among SEC East coaches and good for third overall.
Recruits have also taken notice. Using the 247Sports composite rankings, the Wildcats have the No. 16 recruiting class in the country, placing them fifth among SEC teams. That puts the Wildcats ahead of Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. The Wildcats also have a commitment from 4-star QB Jarren Williams
Stoops earned $3.5 million last season. Kentucky opens its season against Southern Miss, a team that beat the Wildcats last year, on Sept. 2.
Vote on Mark Stoops’ approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents that select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.
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